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towards a bitter world. pierce, changed a country, continent, a world, not bad for 59 years. i go back to my high school years when they were trying to get all the major conglomerates >> everyone has their own sort of memories of nelson mandela. we'll have more on this on "morning joe" which starts right now. ♪ ordinary love >> i build a society in which all both black and white can walk tall without any fear in their hearts. assured of their right to human dignity, a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.
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>> it would have been groundbreaking enough to become south africa's first black president, but nelson mandela was so much more. not only to his own country but to people the world over. the freedom fighter has died at the age of 95. madiba, as he was known, sacrificed 25 years of his life in prison so that his countrymen might be free from the bonds of apartheid. >> your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. i, therefore, place in the remaining years of my life in your hands. >> when he was released from prison he was greeted by a crowd black and white and his plight
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inspired a young college student who would change history himself. >> i'm one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from nelson mandela's life. my very first political action, the first thing i ever did that involved an issue or policy or politics was protest against apartheid. the day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can be when they are guided by their hopes and not by their fears. >> yesterday evening south africa's president claimed south africa lost its greatest son. tributes pour in throughout the night from the apollo theater to johannesburg. you're looking at a live picture outside of mandela as home. it's all for a man who was prepared to die to bring democracy to a country wherefore
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so long it was denied. good morning, everyone, it is friday, december 6th, welcome to "morning joe," a special edition this morning. with us on set we have the most of msnbc politics nation and president of the national action foundation, reverend sharpton. john meacham. and in washington, washington anchor for bbc world news america, katty kay. we'll go "around the table" in a moment. joining us new nbc news african reporter live outside of the home of mandela in johannesburg. set the scene for us. >> reporter: well take a look. it really is quite an incredible scene. when we got here late yesterday evening after we heard initial reports that nelson mandela might have passed away, there was an incredibly somber mood
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but that didn't last very long at all. it took just a few hours and overnight the crowd grew, and it turned into something of a party. why a party? because well in every sense this is a celebration, a celebration of nelson mandela's life. also a celebration of the lives that ordinary south africans have been able to live as a consequence that nelson mandela made. yes, people were sad. many people are somber. yes one or two people out of this huge crowd are spotted crying earlier today. but people have really gotten used to the fact that he was incredibly sick. he was taken to the hospital six months ago with a recurring lung infection. in september he was discharged from his hospital but only to be allowed to go home because his home had been cleaned out to resemble an intensive care unit.
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people are used to if the fact he's incredible sick. he's 95 years old. last night's news was not shocking, it was predictable. it was painful nonetheless. yet what we see around us is an extraordinary celebration not only of nelson mandela's life but of south africa, modern south africa that he and they helped together build. >> thank you so much. it's impossible to encapsulate the life and legacy of nelson mandela in a one or two or three minute piece. we have some beautiful pieces. willie take it "around the table" to get into words from an incredible panel what he meant. >> i would go to reverend sharpton. thinking about his life last night, reverend, i was stwruk by what nelson mandela didn't do when he got out of prison. he had every right to be angry, to be bitter, to seek revenge because of the way he had been
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treated and the way a lot of people in that country had been treated. he chose another path and that changed the course of history by choosing the direction he chose he made history. >> i think the reason that he has become and rightfully so this giant of history is not only what he did, which is incomparable in terms of leeadig the democratization of a country and a world but how he did it. in his home country he had to carry a passbook. he had no rights. he couldn't vote. it was against the law to have his picture. he couldn't touch his wife's hands for 16 years of his 26 years in jail. yet he came out advocating reconciliation and negotiating with his oppressors and tried to be inclusive. i think the way he did it was equal to what he did and it's
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incomparable. one of us that grew up in the post-civil rights era it tempered a lot of us that got to know him. the mandela way was not only to fight for change but become the change and he symbolized that in epic proportions. few times i was honored to be around him, you were always moved by this balance of gravity and humility, you never saw in anyone else. he was such a humble and great guy at the same time. it is really something that we probably, president obama said, we'll never see again. >> john meacham, i was talking to my 10-year-old girl about nelson mandela, explaining about him, what he had done, the sacrifices he made, the way he changed this country and the world.
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i'm wondering, though, of course, my 10-year-old girl didn't know an awful lot about nelson mandela. and we won't even talk about my 5-year-old boy. he'll get it in years to come. what do history books write about this man? >> the last lines of the 20th century. he was arguably with john paul ii, martin luther king, he was someone without whom the world would be radically different and worse. while america mourns him today we should remember that america was not always with him. i think that's an important part of history. president reagan opposed the point signatures of sanctions in the 1980s against south africa. it was only in 1990 four years after mandela was released he was received by president bush. he was part of the complex cold war world. this is a more complicated
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history that the country of the united states should take account of. but mandela himself, you know, he stood apart history and said stop. >> talk about that complex history. >> pretty much as john said. united states was tolerant of the situation particularly the u.s. government. in many ways it was the british government of margaret thatcher that played a much larger role in brokering mandela and de klerk. we celebrate because of his willingness to give up power. mandela was fortunate in one way and something we tourkt today. he got the nobel peace with f.w. de klerk. mandela had a partner.
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the situation in south africa only had the peaceful tries because there were two people who were able to make compromise. >> on pbs last night, what was the trigger point for de klerk? >> i think the africaner people. he understood it wasn't sustainable. it was morally. this is where mandela made a difference as an individual. he made it possible for white south africaners to realize they had a place in south africa. mandela was so important. he made people comfortable with a scale of change that under a different man would have been unimaginabl unimaginable. just think how different american society would have been if there was a bloodbath.
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the consequences of mandela went far beyond south africa which is one of the two most important countries. >> it's unthinkable how much time he spent behind bars and yet was able to change the world. >> it's amazing that a man who spent 27 years in prison, 18 of them in a penal colony in robbery off of cape town came out of prison with not just the forgiveness he gave, that he had this generosity of spirit towards all white south africans but specifically to the people who had done him so much harm. he came out an incredible leadership savvy politician. the day he walked out of prison in 1990 and we didn't know what was going to happen to south africa. there were crowds who were giddy with joy in cape town as he came
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out and gave his first speech. elm were very nervous. there was a strong police presence. we didn't know if the country would disintegrate into violence and rioting. mandela came out and managed this very complicated political transition, corralling the whites, corralling black south africans, dealing with the international community and he was a tough minded savvy pol. to have managed to sustain that and learn that and grow that quality in himself during that time in isolation was really extraordinary. >> nelson mandela had a royal birth as the son of a tribal chief but quickly gave up that life to throw off minority apartheid ruling in south africa. let's go now to a report of the world's most famous political prisoner. >> reporter: the south africa that nelson mandela was born into more than nine decades ago
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will never be the same because of him. his life long campaign for racial equality made him a hero to the people and at one time an enemy of the state. mandela's tribal name translates as the one who stirs up dust. mandela stirred up a storm fighting for democracy. >> i am prepared to die. >> reporter: first arrested in 1962 he was convicted of sabotaging conspiracy to overthrow the government. for 27 years prison bars confined the man but not his cause. ♪ a generation that had never seen him kept his campaign alive. in 1990 buckling under internal strife and international sanctions, the white minority government abandoned apartheid. >> the government has taken a firm decision to release mr.
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mandela unconditionally. >> reporter: mandela emerged behind bars without bitterness to resume his campaign. >> africa. >> nelson mandela set aside his personal freedom for our personal freedoms. >> reporter: as south africa's first black president mandela remained a humble man, taking delight in a new york ticker tape parade. dancing at a concert in his honor. meeting with world leaders and his civil rights hero. as promised he stepped down as president of south africa after serving just one term. >> be south africa has been a despottic state throughout almost the whole of the 20th century. mandela is one of the best and optimistic qualities that he has to the people of south africa.
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>> reporter: by all accounts the measure of this man can be taken by what he wants to be remembered for. here lies nelson mandela said, a man who has done his duty on earth. >> here with us now, a giant of civil rights. you got a chance to interview president mandela in february of 1990 after he came out of prison after 27 years. how did you finds him? how had he changed? >> i didn't know him before he went to prison so i'm not sure how he had changed. but he was warm. but a little bit distant. as you can remember when he went to distant there weren't any journalists up in his face, there wasn't any television that he had appeared on a lot of times, you know, to get used to it. he was just a little bit reserved. so i tried to break through that
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reserve by telling him about my history in the civil rights movement and the young people that i knew and all of a sudden he said to me did you know maya angelou. i said yes. he said we read all of her books in the prison. that broke the ice for us. he was still very guarded and remained -- over the months and years after he was released he got more and more comfortable with the media but in those days he was a bit reserved. he didn't like personal questions, and i was warned by the son of one of his prison mates, i know what you're going to try to do but those old guys only talk to themselves about their prison experience. eventually, you could see him opening up and getting more and more used to media and intrusive questions. >> as you said, he was completely called off in there.
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he had no connection to the outside world. did he have any sense when he came out what an icon he had become? >> i don't think so. that may have come over time as he met heads of state and people who gave him a sense of how they had grown with him and with his struggle. but i don't think he saw himself as an icon. i don't think he saw himself as the renaissance man that he really was and became increasingly more so as time went on because, you know, he came out with one idea in mind and that was to free his country from oppressive white minority rule known as apartheid. but eventually he embraced many other things like for example hiv and aids. here was someone who wasn't around in society when aids virus began to hit, especially his country hard and then he lost a son to it.
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so, he stepped up. he stepped out. he continued to be, in my own view, a real renaissance man. >> reverend al? >> i think one of the things and it was pointed out about de klerk. we shouldn't under estimate the pressure on both sides of their own allies that were criticizing him. nelson mandela, i was on election observer in 1994, and mandela was being attacked by black nationalists that felt he sold out and de klerk by africaners that felt he sold out. they had to fight inside their own base to have this reconciliation which makes them even greater figures. how do you deal with having to balance those that are with you, think you're too soft, those that think you're too hard and find a way to go down the
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middle. that's where greatness is achieved. >> every revolutionary man or woman has that great challenge. >> absolutely. >> wow. >> let's look back to the 1961 when the 42-year-old activist gave his first televised interview. >> i went to see the man who organized this, a 42-year-old african lawyer nelson mandela the most dynamic man in south africa today. the police were hunting for him at the time but african nationalists arranged for me to meet him at his hide out. this is mandela's first television interview. i asked him what it was that the african really wanted. >> the africans require one franchise of one-man/one-vote.
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>> do you see africans develop in this country without the european being pushed out? >> we have made it very clear in our policy that south africa is a country of many races. there's room for all the different races of this country. >> richard haas. >> what's so interesting about mandela, he not only helped this transition from apartheid peacefully but after he governed for one term as president he gave it up voluntarily. that was his other great contribution to south africa really as a demonstration to the continent and the world was his commitment to democracy outweighed anything personal. the idea that he not only gave up power voluntarily he had a peaceful transition to his successor. again, south africa could have gone fundamentally different. it could have gone like a
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nigeria or zimbabwe. instead for all of its problems and challenges economically and politically and socially it's worked more than not. >> we've been talking this morning about the difference one man can make and this manmade as great a difference as anybody in the last century. what do you think the world looks like without nelson mandela or if nelson mandela hadn't decided to pursue the path of justice as ref rand sharpton said the way he did it, who you the world and south africa be different? >> that's a hard question. i have no idea. because remember we honor, rightly, nelson mandela, but there were many soldiers walking with him. some behind him. some in front of him. he always had a critical mass of people to support what he was doing. and so the values that he espoused and articulated was shared by many people although reverend al talks about the
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tensions within the ranks, mandela still was a part of a movement and he would be the first to tell you that. when i asked him right after he got out of prison, we were sitting in his backyard at the same interview i referred to earlier, well, mr. mandela do you foresee a time where you're the president of this country. he said i belong to a movement and decisions have to be made by the collective. but he probably knew he would be the leader of the country. but, you know, his values were value shared by many people. now the big question is how does his own country, the leadership now as well as the rest of the world relate to those values because it's a challenge, and when mandela was still alive and before he told people he was leaving and not coming back in
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the active political arena, you know, he laid down his thoughts and his beliefs, but who knows, you know, how transcendent they really are. we talk about someone who is unique in the world even today. so where are the mandelas and i'm sure they exist but we got find them. we got see them. we got hear them. >> thank you so much for being on the show this morning. coming up, much more on the legacy of nelson mandela. we'll be joined by former secretary of state james baker who was the first senior u.s. official to meet with mandela after his release from prison. also rick stengel and andrea mitchell and tom brokaw. up next the look at the headlines from papers from
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around the world but first bill karins tracking the major ice storm. >> as far as we're going throughout the morning commute the roads are treacherous this morning in the dallas area. you may have seen scenes around little rock, memphis later. this was in missouri yesterday as the ice and snow moved into oklahoma. let me show you what we're dealing with. what a winter we're starting out with. this map shows you where the wind chills are the norts. that's the northern plains. ice and snowstorm from texas now all the way to new york state. then a new winter storm coming in the west that's moving across the country this weekend. right now if you're heading out this morning be careful in ohio, southern indiana, southern illinois, western kentucky, southern missouri, down there northern portions of arkansas are just coated in ice. this is where the worst of the ice storm is now, north of little rock and dallas an inch of sleet last night. just the crunchy stuff and it won't warm up much. as far as the snow goes that
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band of six inch, southern ohio valley and some of that will extend up to new england. don't get used to those warm temperatures on be the east coast. they will be gone by saturday. d.c. starting out in the 60s this morning. rain all day today in areas of the northeast but no ice and no snow. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. like you're growing old waiting for your wrinkle cream to work? clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it targets fine lines and wrinkles with the fastest retinol formula available. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. one week? that's just my speed. rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots rapid tone repair. from neutrogena®.
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he taught chemistry at the international school for the last 18 months. he was just days away from returning to texas for the holidays. no one has claimed responsibility for his murder. >> and the telegraph pope francis set up a commission to investigate sexual abuse. it's expected to be made up of priest, nuns and experts from around the world. the vatican hopes this prevents priests from sexually abusing children but help those victims. >> "new york times," bill bratton is to be leading the new york police force. it's a tactic he has embraced in the past while the incoming mayor has criticized it.
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bratton led the police department in boston and los angeles. star ledger, $200,000 is the auction price for a handwritten lyric sheet of bruce springsteen's hit "born to run." doubling pre-sale estimates sotheby said it's one of two existing manuscript include the lines "tramps like us" and "baby, we were born to run." it's different from the final version. >> on the cover of this weekend's "parade" magazine, calan chef, discusses her tradition and joy of family and importance of living well. time now for politico. >> let's look at chris matthew's interview last night with president obama. chris was here yesterday previewing for us an exclusive at american university. the president addressing
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problems with the obama care website. also spoke about the perception of his management within his own administration. >> when it comes to the management of government, part of the reason people are so skeptical is that when we do things right they don't get a lot of attention. if we do something that is perceived at least initially as a screw up, it will be on the "nightly news" for a week. i remember bob gates, my former secretary of defense, wonderful public servant, had served under seven presidents, when i first came in i asked him so, bob, you got nyad vice for me. he said, mr. president, just understand you got a lot of people working for you. somebody somewhere is screwing something up. that's true. [ laughter ] so i have to consistently push on every cabinet secretary on
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every single agency how can we do things better and we can do things better. >> john meacham what is your take on his perspective on his own administration. >> i think it's realistic. president kennedy said defeat is an orphan and victory has a thousand fathers. that's true whether it's a government agency or private institution. there's always the difficulty of pulling these things off, complex operations. but all that said, you know, he ran for the office and so you take the responsibility, and i think he's showing a little sense of humor there but i think given the scale of this particular screw up, that was -- some conversations he should have had on the front end. >> yes a little bit earlier. chris covered an awful ground. later on asking about 2016 and possible democratic nominees for president.
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>> vice president joe biden, former secretary of state hillary clinton. compare and contrast? >> not a chance am i going there. [ laughter ] here's what i'll say, both hilary and joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents. i think joe biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents ever. hilary i think will go down in history as one of the finest secretary of states we've had and helped transition us away from a deep hole we were in when i first came into office around the world. >> that's the only answer he could have given to that question? >> he gave it well. even pushed he said i'm not touching that one. he cannot weigh in on this one and i suspect he will get right up to the next election and where there ever to be an contest that's unimaginable
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between joe biden and hillary clinton in the nominating process i can't imagine barack obama weighing in on that one. in the larger context joe biden is doing hillary clinton a favor by having his name out there. the idea he can keep this as a race or contest the better it is for her if she decides to run to have joe biden suggesting at this stage anyway that he's thinking of the process. >> coming up we'll talk much more about the life and legacy of nelson mandela. we'll break for a little sports. may end up being the first pick, bridgewater. the play you must see, a hail mary, next in "morning joe" sports.
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jamison winston will not face chargeses after a student accused him of sexual assault last december. the state attorney said there's not enough evidence to files charge. the decision clears away for the
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heisman trophy favorite to finish the season. they play duke in the acc championship game on saturday. one of the game's last night number 19 louisville with one loss at cincinnati, let's head to the fourth quarter, cardinals down 14-10. >> bridgewater gets away again. he's got a man in the end zone. touchdown louisville. >> that is teddy bridgewater who will probably be the number one pick in the draft next year scrambling, throwing the go ahead touchdown. the game eventually went to overtime where two yard touchdown run was the game winner. louisville ekes one out. nfl game last night texans an jaguars. worst from nfl to longest winning streak in the afc. a pair of touchdowns.
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sanders finds jordan for the score. jaguars third straight win. won four out of five, 27-20. they hand houston their 11th consecutive loss. coming undone down in houston. coming up next harold ford jr. joins us for mika's must read opinion pages. we'll be right back. if you're seeing spots before your eyes...
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here with us now msnbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu, information democratic congressman harold ford jr. >> how many days? >> less than two weeks out. >> you'll become a happy daddy. >> can't wait.
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>> reverend said you'll know what tired is really like not just getting up for "morning joe." >> of course we're following the death of nelson mandela throughout the show this morning. there's other political news to cover. we'll get to some of that here. in kentucky, recent comments against obama care by senator mitch mcconnell has democrats rally ago round the president's health care law. wednesday night the minority leader said the law was quot qu catastrophic failure and needed to be pulled out root and branch. but yesterday's the state's democratic governor pushed back. >> kentucky has become the gold standard when it comes to implementing the affordable care act. i'm very proud of that. there's a tremendous pent up demand in kentucky for affordable health care and to me that translates all across
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america. folks, you hear all kinds of criticisms about the act. it will never work. i have a u.s. senator who keeps saying kentuckyians don't want this. well the facts don't prove that out. there's about 550,000 of them on our website right now that want it and some 65,000, 69,000 that have signed up. so kentuckyians do want this. >> senator mcconnell responded saying quote, identify been traveling around kentucky, listening to what my constituents have to say about this disastrous law. what identify heard at every stop is proof that the damage obama care is doing isn't just speculation, it's reality. yesterday chris matthews had a live town hall meeting at american university with a lot of those invincibles he wants to sign up for obama care with president obama and here's the president defending obama care as well as trying to appeal to
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america's youth. >> there's some resistance out there among young people we've seen it in the polls to enrolling in the exchanges and taking responsibility for their health care. what's your argument they should do that? >> i understand why people would be resistant to getting on a website that wasn't working right. at some point say when you turn 26, if you're between jobs or you got a passion, you want to start a business and you're not going to have health insurance, this gives you the opportunity to get high quality health insurance and for most people under 30 it's probably going to cost you less than your cell phone bill or your cable bill. less than a hundred bucks. >> harold ford jr. you have republicans who are still pushing back. you hear mitch mcconnell's statements using words like disastrous and catastrophic. they are not letting up not just on saying how they dislike this law, but how they want to get
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rid of it. what is -- how would you characterize the president's long slog back to get young people to sign up. >> he needs young people to sign up for the fiscal stability of the program. the fact that the website is working and people can access it is a great positive. the president has two things going for him. health costs, rising health costs hurts our ability. republicans don't have a viable comprehensive alternative to what he's laying out. so you have to like the trajectory he's on. he has to worry about a few other things but the trajectory he's on politically is better than the republicans and he's in a better position now than the republicans. >> katty kay, he's on a college tour. at this point, and it was exciting to the students at american university, at this point the only person who can get them to sign up is the president himself.
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>> even that, as the president recognizes a pretty tough sell. for many of these young students it's almost a kind of cultural difference that they are having to go through where, you know, they lived without health insurance, some of them, for a long time, if they haven't been on their parents' health insurance. identify been fine. why not just pay the fine. i've spoken to young kids $100 fine a lot of money up front but easier than this complicated process of getting health insurance that i don't feel i need. one group that the president needs to target is young latinos. look at states like florida, california, there's large population of latino, if the president can get a couple million of young hispanics signing up that would be a huge boost to the success of bristol-myers care. the outreach needs to happen but from hispanic leaders it's
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kicked off pretty late in the game. >> i'm struck by how much everybody continues to talk about the president's health care plan. it dominated the 2010 election. disastrous for presidents. we're going into another off year election. there's no reason to believe it won't dominate the discussion. i disagree with harold ford jr., it plays to the republicans advantage in a big way. >> i think that's right. i want to say something about harold and emily, in tennessee the birth of a ford heir is a state holiday. everybody here has their bonfires ready to light and the sky lighting will happen. my children are looking forward to the games and events that will be taking place here in his home state.
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>> there will be fireworks. some bottle rockets. >> looking forward to ford day. >> go ahead. >> back and forth native state. i do think that the -- it's unquestionable the idea this is work to the democrats advantage right now, i think is just wrong. there's no andy poling data to suggest it. there's no sensibility to suggest it. one question i would have is whether politically this issue has actually peaked too early for the republicans as purely a tactical matter. you're talking about ten months from now will we still be talking about this at this level and that's the question going forward. >> the only point i make, i don't disagree with you or joe in terms of the politics, but here we are now in december. if this website works itself out more and more which it sounds at this moment sirkts the republicans if they would
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present a viable alternative could find themselves in a much stronger position. only answer they have right now is this law is disastrous, it's horrible and there's no doubt there are elements -- >> they have plans like tom coburn has plans. there's a house plan -- >> there's no national, no big idea. >> you can say that the republicans haven't unified behind a plan and their messaging is horrible but there's some pretty comprehensive plan. one republican house plan has over 200 co-sponsors. tom coburn's bill in the senate has a lot of good very thoughtful ideas. >> i don't mean to be disrespectful but give me three points of it. >> i could sit here and tell you what they are if you like but, again, that's the republicans job the to get unified behind one plan. >> if the republicans do that they will strengthen themselves
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in a big way. >> they got to change that messaging and the term trajectory is right. if they continue where they are going i think it will definitely be the democrats benefit in the long term. right now no question the republicans are on the offensive. but if you don't put out a unified message plan -- >> yeah, it's defensive. >> and the website begins to correct itself, over time as you get into the mid-term it will only -- >> mika said it best pebs will be peaking too soon. >> keep on, keeping on. >> if you hear -- a lot of them are saying the same thing. they are talking about universal access to health care. tom coburn talks about universal access to health care. he talks about the same standard of care as congress has through exchanges, you should have the right to the same standard of care. they do a lot with taxes.
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they don't like big companies getting a better tax break for health care deductions than say small business owners and they want one standard and in fact the house bill has a standard. i didn't want to get into the great details of this but the house bill has a standard where you're actually given a large enough tax break, tax incentive that you got the incentive to go out and buy more competitive health care policies that won't allow one test -- >> all you're hearing mitch mcconnell saying disastrous and catastrophic and going after obama care. >> and it's the republicans responsibility to get tom coburn plan and the house plan and the best ideas, get them all together and then everybody has to be behind that one plan or else -- >> can they unite behind one plan? >> all right. still ahead this morning we have chuck todd and david gregory joining us. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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>> you now know who i am. >> that's fantastic. coming up next, mandela biographer will join us on set
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and everybody wins. yoplait. it is so good. ♪ >> let me just show you something here, this is something that's been greeting you wherever you go. that's a television microphone. what did you think when you first saw it? >> well i was telling somebody in cape town and i saw it, i
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thought it was a weapon and i was very careful to see it move toward me i moved a little bit back to remain at a safe distance. i was seeing it for the first time. >> from prisoner to president, this morning the world is remembering nelson mandela who sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison so that south africa might be free from the bonds of apartheid. the civil rights icon is dead at the age of 95. >> and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. i, therefore, have placed the remaining years of my life in your hands. >> when he was released from prison he was greeted by a jubilant crowd in cape town,
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black and white alike and his plight inspired a young college student who would change history himself. >> i'm one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from nelson mandela's life. my very first political action, the first thing i ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. the day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they are guided by their hopes and not by their fears. >> mournings and try bupts continue to pour in throughout the morning. from the apollo theater in harlem to the streets of johannesburg. we're looking at live pictures outside of mandela's home. it was all for a man who was prepared to die to bring democracy to a country wherefore so long it was denied. welcome back to "morning joe."
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joining the table former managing editor of "time" magazine, rick stengel, the author of "mandela's way, lessons of life, love and courage." in washington, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of the daily run down, chuck todd. also with us the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. let's get right to it. rick stengel, define his legacy. >> his legacy is important for everyone and particularly important right now. here's a man who triumphed over adversity, who forgave his enemy, who put him in prison for 27 years, took everything away from his life yet he managed to find reconciliation in south african politic, avoipded a civil war and created a rainbow nation. that's not perfect. it's a legacy world leaders have to look at and people here in the u.s. have divides that are
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unreachable are miniscule compared to what he was able to bridge. >> rick wrote a great piece on time.com. there's one story you tell in that piece about nelson mandela evading authorities and not getting to see his children very often but sneaking the house in at night and tucking his son into bed and he asked danielle adams why don't we see you and he sawed i have to be a father to millions of children in south africa. even at that time he had a sense he was carrying on something bigger than himself. >> absolutely. he had a great mission. one of the lessons too is that he had one gigantic principle which is to bring freedom and dock to his people. everything else was a tactic. he was a pragmatic politician. he wasn't a visionary, necessarily. he wasn't a philosophier. he wasn't a saint. he never deviated from that. anything that got him there he embraced including violence,
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which he created the spirit of the nation. people don't realize that and don't remember that. we made him into a santa claus. he was a revolutionary. >> i think it's very important the evolution of mandela from this violent philosophy to where he came based on the end goal, the end was the liberation and the democratization of south africa. sometimes we should recall. but his ability to evolve, what did he and hue he did it is why i think he becomes such an important figure. in my group we made mandela's way the 15 lessons that rick wrote about mandatory because you got to learn how to evolve and not be afraid to evolve. when i was an election observer in south africa, i most remember he says don't be afraid to grow. don't be afraid to say maybe
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this tactic is wrong, maybe you're too limited. grow beyond yourself if you believe in the cause. >> chuck todd you can see as the president spoke yesterday and we showed a small portion of it there, the bond he felt emotionally and the inspiration he drew from nelson mandela. talk a little bit about that. >> well, it was -- i think it was a very emotional and poignant set of remarks yesterday and you can tell it was very personal. you know, what strikes me and i would love to get rick's take on this is that, look, i was in college at the time, high school and college when all this was happening. you know, that was one of the shining lights of the 20th century. it seemed like we went through a three year period where freedom was popping up every where. whether it was the fall of the soviet union, tearing down the waurl, freeing m
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wall, freeing mandela, there was a feeling at the time that protest moments work. you know, this stuff isn't being done in a vacuum. the world can change. i mean, it was an amazing uplifting period. >> david gregory -- >> yeah. to build on what chuck is saying, you had the end of communism effectively at this time. i remember going to see him in 1990 in person at the oakland coliseum and getting a sense of what he meant to americans after he was released from prison in a got a sense of what a star he was, what a transcendent figure he was, you didn't have to understand all the internal machinations of south african politics at the time to understand something very simple about this man. he didn't allow himself to be consumed by anger. as rick said he was a revolutionary who became a practical politician. he had a way to bridge a revolutionary past with a rather
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simple vision for how to take the country forward. and how, as rick suggested, a bit of george washington in him by leaving the stage earlier than perhaps he could have after one term. but understanding that it was important for him to just be the first, the father of the country and then pave the way for others. >> tina brown, the other part of this story is winnie. >> the winnie story. to al's very good point about how he said you have to be willing to grow and not be afraid to grow, fascinating thing about the dynamic between him and winnie mandela is she could not grow in the way de. she could not evolve in the way de. it was a tragic and understandable. while he was in prison in solitude a lot, growing, learning a completely different way to deal with this, what he had been through, she was on the outside, being bruised and battered. she was in prison for a year. she was tortured. she developed hatred which ended
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with her being charged with murder and assault. and that, i think, is in a way the tragic dynamic of that great love affair because she began with the great love affair and after two years he was sent to prison and she was on the outside. as a father he couldn't be a father. it was his longing in the end to be with his children that was one of the things he wrote about in his youautobiography. >> at obama's age he has his political awakening around the apartheid issue as a lot of people did in america. and he has, you know, a great realization after mandela is freed about what is possible, which is foreshadowing in his own life. but it seems to me, reverend al, here president obama is too young to have paid in the civil
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rights struggle in america, this is the civil rights issue that he could participate in as a college student and experience the emotion of real-time. >> you know, there's no doubt about it. i think what he said when he made the statement yesterday, that this was the first issue he became involved in because, you know, i grew up in the post-king era. he's a few years younger than me. this was the first thing that colleges, that urban areas, that rural areas want. everyone was saying free mandela and we never seen mandela. when he walked out of the jail and a movement energized by winnie he walked out of there but changed the country from rancor and hostility and said no we're going to reconcile. this became a viable winning tactic in the life of someone like barack obama that i think never left him and i would say helped to lead him towards the kind of change and hope dynamic
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that he helped to make central in his own political career. so i don't think it's a leap to say the impact that the spirit of mandela and that movement had on our own president. >> katty kay? >> i just want to ask rick something about the international concerns about mandela when he came out of prison because as you point out he was committed to arms struggle in south africa. he refused to give up the arms struggle as a negotiating tactic to get him out of prison. i was in cape town the day he walked out of prison and we didn't know what nelson mandela was going to be like. was he going to be the marxist that went into pry son, was he going to have this reconciliation. in the context of the cold war, rick, the uncertainty surrounding what south africa would become was palpable. >> yes. nobody knew what he would be like when he came out of prison. as i said many times before he
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had many teachers in his life but prison was the greatest teacher as all. prison schooled him. it schooled him not only in how to control himself, it schooled him in understanding his adversaries. they had a debating society on robben island. he said i'm a loyal member of the anc. the world had changed and had to go away from the socialist philosophy. he changed radically in a very short amount of time. one of the things he always said to me, he was never high bound about haenging his mind. he said when circumstances change i changed my mind. what do you do. another great lesson for politicians. so he evolved so tremendously when he came out of prison. it was astonishing to watch. >> it is astonishing. incredible story. >> the transition between icon to being in power is one of those impossible things to do.
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>> it was much more difficult coming out of prison and being a practical politician than being in prison. mandela's greatest teacher said i haven't had a good night's sleep since i left prison because now have responsibility. >> in 1994 brian williams interviewed nelson mandela. he asked him about his predecessor f.w. de klerk. >> my relationship with mr. de klerk and he's one of those south africans that i hold in high regard. we have had differences where we
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said cruel things to each other but at the end of the day, we're able to shake hands and if my organization comes out with a majority in this election, i would have to depend very much on his support and experience. >> what happens when nelson mandela has to use force against elements of south africa's black community. are you willing and able to take on the political pressures that take place? >> i don't expect the government as well as succeeding governments to rely as a solution on force. we depend on people.
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i don't see a period when we'll have to use force. >> finally, let's talk about this word expectation. it has become almost an expression, something you hear throughout your country and that is that the blacks expect a new car and a new home the day after the election and the whites expect to lose everything they have, the status quo. how do you control the game of expectations on both sides? >> the fear or the concern by the whites and other minorities are genuine. we want them to remain in our country because we're going to rely on them in this country. but you must understand that in order to deliver the goods in this regard, it cannot to be done overnight. it is going to take a year, two years, even as much as five
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years. the important thing is that the process of mobilizing the country and the resources to address these problems will start. >> john meacham you listen to mandela talk almost 20 years ago and you think about the grace it took and the kind of man it took from february 11th, 1990 on to come out with all this power teen use it in a way he used it and not to be violent as he spoke to brian right there and not take on some of the frustration, the bitterness and anger that must have built up inside him against that society that put him in prison for 27 years and direct it in such a positive way because could it have gone another way in south africa. >> absolutely. it's a great manifestation of the best parts of the possibilities of politics. and the importance of the human tram drama and human character in
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that. i would like to hear from rick what was the life experience before prison that gave him the capacity to come out with that view and that understanding that you had to press forward without the bitterness that would be natural to almost everyone else of us? >> well, john, he had this aristocratic upbringing. it was prison that really schooled him and, you know, so many people would say to me afterwards, i find it so astonishing that he doesn't have any anger or bitterness in his heart and i would always smile to myself because he had tremendous anner and bitterness in his heart. his entire life was taken away from him. his family was taken away from him. his wife was taken away from him. what he realized when he came out he had to hide that anner and bitterness. he could never show it. he could only show the face of forgiveness and reconciliation.
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that mask never left his face for an instant. that's what made him a fantastic and astonishing politician. he never let anybody see that. to me the courage is not the absence of feeling bitterness and anger, it's hiding it. >> chuck todd and then dividend gregory i'll let you guys round this out. you think about the discipline to deal with anger that rick was talking about and the capacity to lead and change the world in mandela. and then there's washington. chuck? >> yeah. look, he is this, an amazing, in that respect, you hope that you people look to mandela, look to the example of south africa and you say to yourself, you know what? you can build a new democracy in different places, you can bring warring coalitions together at some point to rebuild a nation, rebuild a set of freedoms. you know, one of the things that
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i think we've all -- we're not ignoring but papering over a little bit is, you know, we were slow, the american political world was slow to figure out not which side to be on in the '80s to came, we were always rhetorically against apartheid but how to get involved and how passive the american government at times was about what to do with south africa because we were viewing everything through the lens of the cold war and allowing, at the time, sort of which side of the barricade are you on type of foreign policy and you wonder what is the lesson now, right? what do you takeaway from what frankly where we are, american political culture was slow in many ways. where are we, you know, where are we today. where will we regret in 25 years that we were slow in not being on the right side of an issue or
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right side of history. >> what nelson mandela has said often when he was dealing with his own internal battles within the black coalition in the government as well as whites which is this idea there was a common purpose for south africa after he was released from south africa and when he came president. that's the kind of lesson that can be shared that transcends south africa in his time. where do countries, where do governments of all branches feel they are in it together and have a common purpose to solve problems, to advance freedom, to advance people from all background. i think that's one of the lessons that he already has given. i think it's amazing that chuck is right, i think he was viewed, mandela was in many quarters in america with some suspicion in the '80s. in his lifetime he achieved greatness. it's not a legacy that has to be
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written by historians, it's already there. >> rick stengel, thank you. we'll be looking for the commemorative issue of "time" magazine on nelson mandela. david gregory we'll be watching "meet the press." up next we'll talk to tom brokaw. plus congressmwoman maxine waters. a serious temperature drop leads to a greet freeze in the midwest. bill karins is next. you're with watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. we put members first. join the nation. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪
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>> what did you most want to see in the outside world all those years that you were in prison? >> a host of things. i can't even count them. the very question of being outside and being able to do what you like.
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to see the changes that have taken place, south africa has changed considerably from the time i went to jail and i wanted to see these changes. >> is there anything about prison that you will miss? >> not really. not really. >> that was tom brokaw interviewing nelson mandela after his release from prison in 1990, a moment you'll never forget. tom brokaw joins us now. from los angeles we have democratic congresswoman from california representative maxine waters. thank you both for joining us on this really important morning. reverend al and harold ford jr. with us as well. >> tom, can you remember the back story when you heard mandela was being freed, how got
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to froosouth africa. >> i had a friend in the south african government in being helpful in letting me know he was part of the white south african government and said you should come to south africa right now. i said i need more than that it's a long way. he called me back 15 minutes later and said get on an airplane. there was no indication he would be released. there was a rumor they were getting close. i jumped on a plane which you no longer can do. i get there, our bureau said mate what are you doing here? there's nothing going on. i went down cape town to interview the foreign minister who was being very scircunspect. then there were a couple of pops in the evening. he was more forth coming. he said your government will be
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happy with my government. and i was able to go on taxpayer and as journalists can and make a lot out of that and say, there's an indication here that we may have some developments in the next 24 hours. i'm vamping like crazy. at 4:00 in the morning i got a call from new york, they just announced nelson mandela will be released from prison this morning at about 10:00. all the things that i had been doing '89 and '90, you have to be the soviet union came down during that time, we had the revolution in czechoslavkia, poland. that moment was in so many ways was the most joyful because it was unexpected. the streets filled with mostly black south africans that went to the soccer stadium. he showed up in cape town, in the town square. we hadn't seen him in 27 years. this elegant man, tall and stately, completely in command
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of who he was made this wonderful speech and you knew at that moment that south africa was in for another era and i got to soweto, where his home was and spent the night outside, a rainey night, keeping my eye on his house, and these singing groups would come that paul simon later made famous, and they sang all night long. and then the next morning he invited me to come to the garden and interview him and -- i'm going on and on but the sound man had a big long boom microphone with that fuzzy wind protector over it. in immediately said to him, mr. mandela, you have to know that's microphone not a weapon. he said when i first saw it i thought it was a shotgun. we both laughed and a picture was taken. >> we saw that moment earlier in the broadcast. >> i think it's important we understand the context of
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mandela's release was in a global movement. you have maxine waters, harry bellafonte, people that created this movement of die vestment that set the climate who were ostracized for supporting a terrorist group. they took the risk politically here to fight to create that day that we consider triumphant. i don't think we should whitewash or sugarcoat the development of where handlea ended up being recorded by great in this country. >> that was an exceptional time in the world. when mandela was released in '90, gorbachev bringing down the
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soviet union and czechoslavkia and poland and china gave some economic freedom. historians will be writing of that year '89 and '90 great men coming on the world stage and changing oppression that had existed for so long. >> representative waters, you were part of all this, heading up die vestment efforts. tell us about that time. >> well, i created the legislation that caused california to divest its business funds. i served on the board of transafrica where we made our number one agenda trying to get rid of apartheid in south africa. i joined the anc in defiance because it was considered at that time a terrorist organization but we knew it was a liberation organization.
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and this country was not at all supportive of the revolution that was taking place. over nine years i worked to educate the members of the california legislature. i went to south africa when they lifted the ban on the anc to welcome home all of those who had been in exile and finally we created the event that brought him to los angeles where we filled the coliseum and on to letting people who had been working and students who had been so involved in trying to get him released from prison. finally they got to see him and it was a glorious moment. >> tom brokaw that's one part of this, his history. charlaine said talk about the part where this country wasn't that supportive of him. she talked about possibly some even more sinister aspects of
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it. >> i was in south africa. it was important in keeping the pressure on. i remember the first time i went back when i could use an american bank credit card and i gave it to one of the merchants and they passed it around and they haven't seen it in four or five years. you talk to the big energy companies at that time and it was economic pressure that made f.w. de klerk and others to think about we can't continue this. >> no doubt about it. >> congress. m congresswoman waters, what is it that we take activism and activists in america as we think about the challenges we face, what are the lessons we take from his life, his success and really his maturation over such a period of time. >> he certainly was a man of courage who had the courage of
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his convictions, and he persevered and placed his life on the line for freedom and justice and equality. the lesson for all of us even in the face was adversity you have to stand up for justice. you have to fight for what seeing right. and you will be demonized. you will be called radical all of those things. if you know something like apartheid, racism, something like that exists you should fight for it no matter what the consequences may be. this man gave up his life for it and the legacy for us is if you fight you can win. and if you are on the right side you will win. and so many of us, and the students of this country learned a great lesson from nelson mandela. i can remember when they took over, you know, the roads and the streets inside the universities and renamed them but they also got involved in
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divestment in campuses saying you can't invest in any businesses doing business in south africa. >> the other thing that was critically important when they began to reorganize the political reality in south africa, he reached out to the man who had gotten him released who was a champion of apartheid, f.w. de klerk and came to the realization they couldn't go on and made him his vice president and the two of them are like this. they both won the nobel prize. i was reading comments from f.w. de klerk today who was saying, you know, this is one of the most exceptional men identify ever encountered in my lifetime. he was willing to do that and they stayed in touch. they had differences but always able network them out. then mandela kept his pledge he would only serve one time. he was not going a ruler for life in africa. and, unfortunately -- >> company have been. >> company have been. the lesson was lost on too many
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other african leaders just north of him for example in zimbabwe and other places. he was a man who had spent 27 years in prison thinking about what he wanted to do when he got out and then exercised it. >> all right. congresswoman maxine waters, thank you so much. tom brokaw, stay with us. coming up bill karins is watching an ice storm that's moving across the country. which states will get it the worse? next on "morning joe". and what would this pretty i'm thinking the ford fusion... ho, ho, ho!....the what? i need a car that's stylish and fashionable... especially in my line of work. now do you have a little lemonade stand? guys, i'm in fashion! but i also need amazing tech too... like active park assist... it practically parks itself. and what color would you like? i'll have my assistant send you over some swatches...
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in the middle of an ice storm, fort smith, arkansas, you had an inch of ice overnight. the power is on there in the background. now it is snowing on top of it. you have the weight on trees already and the snow will fall and accumulate on trees. hearing reports of 50,000 people in arkansas without power. up to 90,000 people in dallas county where they saw a lot of sleet last night especially in the dallas-ft. worth area. the airports aft least so far are doing well but so many flights cancelled. not a ton of delays. over 1,000 flights cancelled out of the central plains. again we're watching a little bit of light rain. philadelphia and d.c. and fog in new york city. so there will be significant delays today but not yet. the ice storm the worst of it
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will be during the day today. little rock to areas in memphis and north of memphis. okay in nashville. four inches of snow in indianapolis. oklahoma city, three inches of snow on the ground. a lot of school cancellations and school delays. most of the heavy snow has stayed just south of st. louis. look at this map. the green is the rain. the pink is the ice. the worst of it from little rock northwards. sleet in dallas and oklahoma. all of this is heading up to the northeast where we had a little bit of snow. expect a little bit of snow late tonight too. your forecast, bitterly cold in the northern plains. new winter storm to track in california and that will move across the country by the time we get to sunday, mika, even areas in the east like washington, d.c. could see a little bit of snow changing over to rain. a big, big winter mess. >> bill karins thanks very much. today nelson mandela being remembered as a hero but it wasn't that long ago that the
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u.s. government saw him in a very different light. we'll talk about that complicated history with breaking biographer craig shirley. keep it right here on "morning joe."
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45 past the hour. joining us now from washington, reagan historian craig shirley, harold ford jr., reverend al and tom brokaw. craig, if you can bring us in time because there was a time when there was opposition to nelson mandela and ronald reagan's part in this story. >> i think, mika, everything in the reagan administration and during his time of office has to be judged in the shadow of the cold war. everything from economic policy to national defense and foreign policy was shaped. you have to be we were losing the cold war as of 1980.
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you know, europe, nato was falling apart. the soviets were in central america. southeast asia had fallen. really in the context of the cold war the soviets were winning and we were lotion. one of ronald reagan's great mission was the defeat of soviet communism. that was at the head of the checklist. you know, apartheid existed in south africa under the administrations of franklin roosevelt and harry truman and dwight eisenhower and lyndon johnson, every president going forward to ronald reagan. reagan was the first president to come up with a policy called constructive engagement which was to disengage from apartheid and move towards black majority rule without falling into the bloodbath that happened in rhodesia and cambodia. >> tom brokaw, just even
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constructive engagement which is choice of words by ronald reagan, complicated time. >> as i'm sure mr. shirley will agree, it was not a slam dunk for the administration. there was a huge debate in this country whether we should have constructive engagement and how much pressure you can put on that. when i went over there when the sanctions were still on there were a lot of american businesses saying you're hurting us more than you're hurting south africa and that was the debate that was going on in the highest part of the administration, the american economy. but at the same time there was a growing movement as the reverend al said not just on the part of the california legislature and other things but people were coming to the idea that this must come to an end in part because of all that happened in the soviet union the year before. there was liberation around the world and you couldn't have south africa with this divided country on race alone and then the inevitability of it came
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with f.w. de klerk and other leaders because they could see their country was going in only one direction. it would be the villains in history. >> just adding on to tom's point. tissue of economic sanctions was not a clear cut issue. as a matter of fact the largest single tribe in africa the zulus were strongly opposed to economic sanctions against south africa because they knew it was going to hurt black south africans the worst being at the lowest point of the economic rung. they argued against economic sanctions against his own country. >> he had an empire up there on his tribal homeland and didn't want anybody fooling around with that. >> but i think that shirley is right, you had some to the right
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and some the left. there was this movement, even entertainers, athletes that were called on to shun south africa and successfully built that movement with transafricans and others and reagan became the picture to us of opposing that where he was really trying to deal with balancing, even leon sullivan. so it wasn't a black and white kind of issue, it was a lot of gray areas. >> reagan even said you must release mandela. he made a statement to that effect -- >> he gave a speech to the united nations to call for immediate withdrawal of apartheid. the first foreign policy trip by bill clark was to south africa and he said the united states government the reagan government finds apartheid repugnant and urged a change over as quickly as possible and the reagan administration put pressure on the south african government to
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withdraw their forces from namibia. >> let's bring in nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host host of andr"andrea mitchell reports." i would love to reflect on the time in history that they are talking about and nelson mandela's legacy. >> the legacy is enormous as tom knows better than know and reverend al who was in the movement. covering it from this end, i was impressed with other republicans who stood up and said you have to change the tell us. it was the congress and starting with maxine waters and the californians, the congress and the black caucus. the late bilbray was such a hero of this movement. those were the people who pressed for compromise and tried to come up with a consensus that
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reagan could finally go along with. that was the first veto overridden in a century actually when ron would reagan's veto was overridden with strong republican support. it showed that the pressure that had been building on campus started in the congressional black caucuses as reverend al pointed out. it built to the point where it was irresistant and the united states was joining with world condemn nation with what was continuing to happen in south africa. >> craig shirley, you are the author of december 1941, 13 days that changed america and saved the world. tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor. before we go to break, your thoughts on that momentous day in history. >> it's interesting because it ties together what we are talking about and what happened
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december seventh. we were an isolationist country on the afternoon of december 6th, 1914. by the afternoon of december 7, we were an internationalist country including acting as the world policemen and standing up to global communism and trying to bring well eveabout effectiv in south africa. >> andrea, we will see you at 1:00. pastor rick warren is here for faith on fridays. we'll be right back.
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>> we south africans both black and white will be able to walk tall, without any fear in our hearts. with the unalienable right to human dignity. a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. >> it would have been groundbreaking enough to be the first black president, but he was so much more, not only to his own country and to people the world over. the freed fighter died at the age of 95. madiba sacrificed 27 years in
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prison so that his country might be free from the bonds of apartheid. >> heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. i therefore face the remaining years of my in your hands. >> when he was released from prison, he was greeted by a jubilant crowd in capetown, black and white alike and his plight inspired a young college student who would change history himself. >> i am one of the countless million who is drew inspiration from nelson mandelmandela's lif the first thing i ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against
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apartheid. the day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they are guided by their hopes and not by their fears. >> yesterday evening south africa's president proclaimed south africa has lot of its greatest son. mourning and tributes continued to pour in throughout the night from the apollo theater to the streets of johannesburg. crowds have been gathering for a man who was prepared to die to bring democracy to a country where for so long it was denied. good morning, it is friday december 6th. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have the host of politics nation reverend al sharpton and the president of foreign relations and in nashville, john meachem and in
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washington, washington anchor for bbc world news america, katy kay. we will go around the table, but first joining us now nbc news africa correspondent outside the home where mandela is believed to have died. set the scene for us. >> take a look. it is quite an incredible scene. when we got here late yesterday evening after we heard initial reports that nelson mandela might have passed away, it was somber news, but that didn't lot of long at all. overnight the crowd grew and turned into something of a party. why is a party? in every sense this is a celebration of nelson mandela's life. also a celebration of the lives that all south africans have been able to live because of the sacrifice that nelson mandela made. yes, people are sad and somber
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and there were a few people spotted crying, but people have gotten used to the fact that he was incredibly sick and he was taken to the hospital seriously ill with a lung infection and then he was critically ill and december he was discharged to go home because his home resembled an intensive care unit. people were used to the fact that he was incredibly sick. he was 95 years old and last night's news was not shocking. it was predictable, but painful none the less. what we are seeing here is an extraordinary celebration not only of nelson mandela's life, but modern south africa that he and they together helped to build. >> thank you so much. it's impossible to encapsulate the legacy and the life of
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nelson mandela in two or three minutes on a piece. we have beautiful taped pieces, but take it around the table trying to get into words from an incredible panel what he meant to the world. >> would go to reverent sharpton first thinking about his life. i was struck by what he didn't do. he had every right to be angry and bitter and he had every right to seeky y irevenge becaf the way he was treat said, but he chose another path and that changed the course of history. he made history. >> the reason he has become and rightfully so this giant in history is not only what he did which is incomparable of leading the democratization of a country and a continent and impacting the world, but how he did it.
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the fact that in his home country he had to carry a pass book. he had no rights. he couldn't vote. he was ostracized and it was against the law to have his picture. he couldn't touch his wife's hand for 16 of 27 years in jail and yet he came out advocating reconciliation and negotiating with his direct oppressors and tried to be inclusive. the way he did it was equal to what he did and both of them are incomparable in our lifetime. growing up as an activist, it tempered a lot of us that got to know people that were close and harry belafonte would teach us the mandela way was not only to fight for change, but become the change. he symbolized that in epic proportions. the few times i was honored to be around him, you are moved by
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the balance of humility. it was something you never saw. i never did in anyone else. you realize you were in the presence of greatness, but he was such a humble and great guy at the same time. it is really something we probably as president obama said we will never see again. >> nelson mandela had a royal birth as the son of a tribal chief, but he gave up that to throw off apartheid rule in south africa. let's go to the report on the world's most famous political prisoner. >> the south africa that nelson mandela was born into nine decades ago will never be the same because of him. the lifelong campaign made him a hero to the people and at one time an enemy of the state. mandela's tribal name translates as the who stirs up dust. mandela stirred up a storm fighting for democracy.
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>> it has been a gift for which i am to prepared to die. >> first arrest in 1962, he was convicted of sabotage and experience to overthrow the government. for 27 years, prison bars confined the man, but not his cause. a generation had never seen him and kept his campaign alive. in 1990, buckling under internal strife and international sanction, the white minority government abandoned apartheid. >> the government has taken a firm decision to release mr. mandela unconditionally. >> he emerged from behind bars without bitterness to resume his campaign. >> africa! >> nelson mandela sacrifices personal freedom for our freedoms. >> his work was recognized with
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a nobel peace prize and the first black president, he remained a humble man. taking delight in a ticker tape parade and dancing at a concert in his honor. meeting with world leaders and his civil rights hero. as promised he stepped down as president of south africa after serving just one term. >> south africa has been through almost the horror of the 20th century. mandela's legacy stands against it as one of the best and most optimistic qualities that he hands to the people of south africa. >> by all account, the measure of this man can be taken by what he wants to be remembered for. here lies nelson mandela, a man who has done his duty on earth. >> here with us now, special correspondent shar lane hunter, a giant in her own right.
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you got a chance to interview president mandela. he wasn't president yet. he came out of prison after 27 years. how did you find him? how had he changed? >>. >> i didn't know him before he went to prison so i'm not sure, but he was warm and a little bit distant. as you can remember, when he went to prison, there were not any journalists up in his face and there was no television that he appeared on. to get used to. he was a little bit reserved. i tried to breakthrough that reserve by telling him about my history in the civil rights movement and the young people i knew. all of a sudden he said to me did you know miss maya angelou? i said yes. he said we read all of her books in prison.
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that seemed to break the ice. he was still very guarded and remained over the months and years after he was released he got more and more comfortable with the media. in those days, he was a bit reserved. he didn't like personal questions. i was warned by the son of one of his prisonimates. he said those old guys only talk to themselves about their prison experience. you could see him opening up and getting more and more used to the media and intrusive questions. >> youcompletely walled off. did he have a sense of the icon he had become even larger than before he went to prison? >> i don't think so. that may have come overtime as he met heads of state and people gave a sense of how they had
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grown with him and his struggle. i don't think he saw himself as an icon. i don't think he saw himself as the renaissance man he was and became increasingly more so as time went on. he came out with one idea in mind. that was to free his country from oppressive white minority rule known as apartheid. he embraced many other things like hiv and aids. here was someone who was not around in society when the aids virus began to hit, especially his country hard. he lot of a son to it. he stepped up. he stepped out. he continued to be in my own view a renaissance man. >> reverend al? >> one of the things that was pointed out, i think we should not under estimate the pressure on both sides of their own
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allies that will criticize them. nelson mandela, i was an election observer in 1994. wyatt t walker was bringing us over. he was declared sold out. not only did they have the opposition of those that were the oppressors, but they had to fight to have the reconciliation that makes greater figures. how do you deal with having to balance those with you and think you are too soft. those that think you are too hard and find a way to go down the middle. that's where greatness is achieved. >> every evolutionary man and woman has that challenge. >> absolutely. >> let's look back to 1961 when the 42-year-old activist gave his first televids interview. >> i went to see the man who
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organized this, nelson mandela, the most dynamic leader in south africa today. the police were hunting for him at the time, but african nationalists agreed to meet him at his hide out. he is still underground. this is mandela's first television interview. i asked him what it was that the africans really wanted. >> the africans want the franchise on the pages -- [inaudible]. . >> do you see africans be able to develop without the europeans being pushed out? >> we have made it very clear in our policy. south africa is full of motivations. there is room for all the legislations.
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>> richard haas. >> it's so interesting that he not only helped us transition from apartheid to peacefully, but after he governed for one term as president, he gave it up voluntarily. that was his other great contribution to south africa and as a demonstration to the contnecon continent and the world. his commitment to democracy. >> coming up on "morning joe," rick warren joins us for faith on fridays. former secretary of state. first bill is tracking the winter forecast. >> heading east and a new for the west coast moves in this evening. winter storm warnings that go from texas into areas of eastern new york and this new winter storm into the west that dumps heavy storm into the mountains of california. west tennessee is where people are losing power at this hour.
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you can see the radar is not pretty. travel is not recommended in oklahoma, arkansas and northeast texas. at least the east coast will deal with rain. former secretary of state colin powell with his thoughts on the passing of nelson mandela. [ lane ] do you ever feel like you're growing old waiting for your wrinkle cream to work? clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it targets fine lines and wrinkles with the fastest retinol formula available. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. one week? that's just my speed. rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots rapid tone repair. from neutrogena®.
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this is obviously a three-hour
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show and the conversation about the life and legacy of nelson mandela repeated itself because his history is so dynamic and rich. i would love to hear your thoughts about his contribution to the world. >> he will never be forgotten. his spirit will live on because of what he did accomplish. it was my privilege to know him. his great success was showing no matter how difficult the opposing positions are in a situation, with good faith and by reaching out, you can find ways to compromise. from that compromise, you gain a consensus to move forward. he did that because of the sacrifices he was willing to make. 27 years in jail. losing his family and losing his freedom. losing everything. what he said he would do is i will each lose my life if that's what it takes to change the situation. there not many leaders in the
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world today who would make that commitment to something he or you believe in. that's what nelson mandela did. it's an example we will never forget. look what he did to the people. not just the black people of south africa. as i often said about our own revolution when martin luther king was leading it, we freed the white people from the oppression of segregation here in the united states and that's what he did from the a pardon i'd regime. white people as well as black people and put the country on a better path. they have a long way to go, but what an incredible person he was. credit has to be given to fw clark as well. they understood the game was up and he had to find a way to work to change the whole situation. it was my privilege to know mr. mandela and go to his inauguration in 1994 and be there for that moment when he
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took the oath of office and escorted up on stage by the four generals of the south african defense forces. as a soldier what i saw was the remarkable moment in the transfer of power. not only that, but the transfer of trust and respect to a new president who happened to be black. >> you also talked about the fact and as we speak of how gracious he was and what a large man he was and how he was the opposite of the petty unwielding politicians we have. you were sitting at the inauguration and you noticed he had his jailers on the front row. when you asked him did you think about getting even, what did he tell you? >> what he said to a number of people who asked him this question. how can you come out of jail without a desire to exact
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retribution? he said if i were to do that, i would mentally still be in jail. he faced challenges because some of the black power structure in south africa wanted to get even. it was a difficult period when he stepped forward and not just argue against the apartheid regime and the white folks, but he had to make sure the black folks understood as well. we all have to come together. we are one south africa. we are not a black south africa and white south africa. there differences and there is a long way to go. what he did was say to the people we are one people who must be one people. we will not be able to move forward. >> reverend al? >> part of his greatness was that he would stand up to the blacks that were more extreme and wanted retribution and revenge and declared to the africanas, talk about how he had
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to deal with his own base and bringing them towards reconciliation. >> exactly, reverend al. that's what i was touching on a moment ago. his base started to get out of control and the only thing that could keep them under control was his personal presence. his prestige. the position he occupied within the hearts and minds of the plaque people of south africa and the white people of south africa. it was that standard that he set as a leader that allowed him to say no, we cannot do this. just as he said about himself. if i were to go in this direction, i would still be in jail. if the black folks would do what some would something, we would be under a new form of apartheid. he was a great, great leader. a political leader and a strategist and a tactful person
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and you don't see that combination very often. >> thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> the monthly jobs numbers are due out in a few minutes and we will break down the latest data when "morning joe" comes right back. we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays. [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of exacting precision
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>> president obama sat down with chris matthews for an exclusive interview at american university. the president addressed problems with the obama care website and talked about the perception of mismanagement within his administration. >> the management of government and part of the reason people are so skeptical is that when we do things right, they don't get a lot of attention. if we do something that is perceived as a screw up, it will be on the nightly news for a week. when my former secretary of defense, wonderful public servant served under seven presidents, i asked him so bob, you got any advice for me? he said understand you have a lot of people working for you.
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someone at this very moment is screwing something up. that's true. i have to consistently push on every cabinet secretary and on every agency. how can we do things better and we can. >> the president was asked about 2016 and the possible democratic nominees. >> vice president joe biden and hillary clinton. compare and contrast. >> not a chance am i going there. here's what i will say. both hillary and joe would make out standing presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents. i think joe biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents ever. hillary will go down in history as one fine secretary of state that we had. help transition us away from a
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deep hole we were in when i first came into office around the world. >> fascinating interview by chris matthews. let's get a check on business. new numbers. >> 200,000 jobs created last month. unemployment rate of 7.0 down from 7.3%. that's a lot of people leaving the labor force, but that's a headline that a lot of americans pay a lot of attention to. it was about 180,000. whispers were from a higher number. the good number means the fed has pulled back. >> let's look from above. unemployment at 7%. the big picture, those are great numbers. in your economics, bad news and good news.
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politically that's good news. that's a huge headline and will suggest that the trend is moving in the right direction. the president and democrats and those who are moving for a certain way will benefit. what brian is saying is the market is going to pull back from what they see as the easy money. there is more likelihood of tapering. markets may respond in a different way. >> we have tremendous problems and saw the protests with the fast food industry. if the obama administration can get the handle on the unemployment rate with two years left, that's a tremendous victory no matter what the conquest is. >> it's a big headline and it shows that we are on our way towards better times if it remains the case. it's good for the mid-term elections if they keep it below 7%. i know you 1% guys talk about
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being good news on the reverse, but for people who were marching at fast food and other places -- >> it's good to hear the .1%. working place people like reverend al and myself, good news is good news. this week's faith on fridays is next. james baker joins them on the discussion. we will be back with much more "morning joe." if you're seeing spots before your eyes... it's time...
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>> i am a human being with witnesses. i made many mistakes in my life. i am not afraid. i am not a saint unless it is a sinner who keeps on trying. >> honoring the legacy of nelson mandela. joining us now the chair of the baker institute, james baker. good to see you, sir. >> good to have you. you have met so many world leaders and worked with so many world leaders and yet you are saying nelson mandela stands apart. tell us why. >> i think he does. one reason is that he is just very simply a beautiful human being. here he was in jail for 27
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years. i met with him the month after he got out, the 50 high level official to meet with him and he was talking in terms of reconciliation and forgiveness. he said some nice things about the apartheid, then apartheid president of south africa, you know i read some of his speeches and i feel like i'm dealing with a man of integrity. he went on to work with that and the two of them saw to it that there was a peaceful transition of power in south africa. it didn't have to happen that way. he was a man of endearing and enduring dignity. >> we were just talking to colin powell who remembered in 1994 going to his inauguration and seeing him sit his jailers on the front row.
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he was constantly bending over backwards to forgive those who persecuted him and do you suppose there would have never been a peaceful resolution without mandela's bigness of spirit? >> i think it's very doubtful if there would have been a peaceful transition without nelson mandela. you are quite right. that spirit was extraordinarily big. as i said, he was just a very beautiful human being. when you dealt with him and met with him, he was very reserved and very careful in his language. yet hoe had come from a background of revolution. he was one of the few leaders that i can think of who successfully made the transition from being a revolutionary to being a statesman. he did it.
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>> mr. secretary, good morning. harold ford. we compared mandela to washington and jefferson and adams being the father of his contry and a continent. elaborate on the lessons he gave to leaders around the world as we navigate a challenging time. >> i am glad to hear from you, congressman. i hope you are well. you look at the way nelson mandela operates and the way he governed and dealt with his opponents. you have to say to yourself, boy oh, boy, wouldn't it be great if we could have some of that back. in our politics here in the united states it would be so great if people would start working together again to accomplish things for the country. that's what he did first and foremost. he was soft spoken, but he
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remained committed to that rev lou revolution and he didn't give anything away by working with his enemies. >> brian shackman here. take us back to the years ago to the policy back then. how difficult was the united states and its policy towards south africa? >> it was a very difficult problem and in fact the one time that ronald reagan lot of control of foreign policy. the policy in those days was one of constructively engagement. work with the south african apartheid government and use the carrots and sticks of diplomacy and economic and political sanctions to get them to change their government. well, the congress and other countries around the world
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didn't like that policy and sooner or later congress took over that aspect of foreign policy from the president. they passed a sanctions bill. reagan vetoed it. they overrode his veto. the only veto override that i'm aware of that president reagan suffered during his entire presidency. he wasn't happy about it, but it happened and so the policy changed and we began to meet with the more moderate leaders of south africa. including desmond tutu and others. it wasn't until nelson mandela was released and came back and took over as the leader of the african national congress that the two sides were able to work together to accomplish that transition. >> former secretary of state james baker.
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thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> tell your old man hello for me. >> i sure will. >> we see a lot of things the same way on many foreign policy issues. >> i appreciate that. thank you very much. see you soon. up next, if anyone lived a purpose-driven life, it was nelson mandela and pastor rick warren was here for this week's faith on fridays. keep it here on "morning joe." as a business owner, i'm constantly putting out fires.
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back again. what an honor. the community church in california. pastor rick warren, we have so much to talk about. first of all, you were talking about nelson mandela in jail. tell everybody. >> the definition of an icon is instantly recognizable. when you look around the world at the 20th century, mandela would be an icon with gandhi, churchill, martin luther king, billy graham, and by the way, mohammad ali was instantly recognizable. i was saying earlier that if you know anything about history, some of our greatest leaders, humanity put in jail for a long
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period of time. martin luther king or mandela or gandhi or -- you can go down the list. >> why do you believe that? >> men of conviction don't fit the system. they are willing to fight the system. you go back to the bible and they spend time in prison before they became second in command. >>a i guy named jesus and a few followers ended up in jail as well. >> exactly. we have to incarcerate the people who challenge our country. >> isn't it amazing about nelson mandela that his greatest political move, his greatest political strategy is following jesus's that we forgive and from colin powell to james baker said what made him great is he forgave the people that persecuted him.
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>> the books on him will be quite large, but know one of the greatest ones is this. leaders absorb the pain. they don't retaliate. when you are in conflict, you hit me, you hit me and the eye for an eye and everyone ends up blind. at some point the most mature has to say you get the last hit. you hit me and i'm not going to hit back. the greatest test of the person's leadership is how he handles his personal attackers when he has the power to get even. mande mandela, once he gets in power, he has the ability to totally retaliate and get revenge and retaliation against all the years of injustices. >> he stayed in power far longer than he did. >> a leader must be willing to absorb the pain. also the leader must say i'm going to fix the problem, not the blame.
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i don't know who said -- colin powell said earlier, i think rick said it doesn't mean you are not angry. he had every right to be angry. in fact anger is a valid issue. anger is evidence of love. somebody hurt my wife and kids, i would get angry. the person who is not angry doesn't love. some things you should get angry about, but you have to channel your anger. he did not use personal anger against personal attacks. instead he used positive anger against national injustices. >> isn't that where purpose driven comes in with a goal and the purpose becomes more important to you? >> absolutely. >> than the tactics along the way. real leaders are purpose-driven and see the bottom line and the end game rather than they may have to do it in between. >> you are exactly right. the bottom line is the purpose
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greater than my personal pain? there is no great leadership for that personal pain. never. every great leader has personal pain they put up with. you see the success of it. you don't know the personal pain they paid to get there. >> one of the great examples of fdr. he was the son of privilege and grew up in the best parts of new york. certainly many people said he would not be a great president if he had not lot of the ability to walk. the polio gave him the toughness to get us through the depression and world war ii. >> during the years of incarceration, mandela was not just sitting there. he was learning. all leaders are learners. the moment you stop learning, you stop leading. what he is doing is learning from his critics. when you learn from critics, you are smarter than your critics. you only know what they know. you know what you know.
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if you learn what you know and know what you know, you are smarter. you know more because i learn from my critics and people who don't like me. i learn from anybody. that makes you a leader. >> based on that philosophy, you look at the political life today and it's largely making the case and i hope immigration reform is something that should happen. what can the leaders learn as they tackle the issues and being the leader? >> exact low. i'm not an expert in immigration, but i know this. no nation has prospered by cutting off immigration. no situation where that happens. how they get here legally is a matter of debate, but the fact is you go to silicon valley in california and out of the top five guys, maybe three are immigrants. we do not want to cutoff the
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brain, but we should welcome people. they say you have something to contribute to our nation? welcome. >> pastor, can i ask you about mental illness? >> sure. >> i was at an event where a woman's son committed suicide. she now goes to schools to talk to teens about these things that kids have a hard time connectioning on or talking about. she brings a dog to break the ice and try to get a conversation going. i look and wondered how she continues. what drives her. i know you had a terribly similar situation. >> yeah. mental illness is the last taboo. nobody wants to talk about it. ten years ago we took the money and started a foundation with hiv and aids. i thought aids was the last taboo. nobody wanted to talk about it
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ordeal with it. there 40 million people with aids in the world. there 400 million who have mental illness. nearly 60 million or 20% of americans had some mental illness. everybody is touched. you cannot care about returning vets unless you care about mental illness. you cannot care about the homeless unless you care. you cannot care about people who are addicts unless you care about mental illness. a lot of addicts are masking pain. this affects everybody and since the reagan administration, we have been spending less and less on helping families. the number of psychiatric beds in america is easily ten times less than it was in those years. the problems, the pendulum has swung from protecting families to the individual privacy.
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my son matthew was born with mental illness and lived a tortured life. tender heart and mind and tortured. your illness is not your identity. your chemistry is not your character. he was a great kid and a great man, but had a tortured mind. matthew gave doctors's permission to talk to me and kay about his mental illness, but they wouldn't out of fear of litigation. >> pastor rick warren, thank you for sharing. check out his new back, the daniel plan. 40 days to a healthier life. i have a book for you. i would love to come visit you. what if anything did we learn what if anything did we learn today?under his breath ] hate i.
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from neutrogena®. time to talk about what we learned. >> having the world cup crowning achievement and today the draw from the next. >> the leaders absorb pain. >> it's not only what you do, but how you do it that determines your legacy. >> no doubt about it. >> i have friends going through a tough time. dellia and marianne. i pray for the best this weekend. >> if it's way too early, it's "morning joe." chuck todd is next with "the
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daily rundown." >>ar a lifetime of leadership, from prisoner to president, a man who spent a 30 of his adult in jail passes away at the age of 95 and after nearly a century on this earth, his legacy promises to shape the politics of the world for perhaps centuries to come. good morning from washington. it's friday, december 6th. a special edition of the daily run down. we will honor and remember the life of former south african president, nelson mandela. his death was not a surprise. he was in failing health for months since being admitted to the hospital six months ago. he is being laid to rest a week from sunday and today people are remembering him as a giant among men. one of the greatest heroes. he w a

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Morning Joe
MSNBC December 6, 2013 3:00am-6:01am PST

News/Business. Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski & Willie Geist offering interviews with newsmakers and politicians. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Nelson Mandela 62, South Africa 55, Us 39, America 13, Washington 11, Neutrogena 10, U.s. 9, California 9, Tom Brokaw 8, Joe Biden 7, Mandela 6, New York 6, Stacy 6, Chuck Todd 5, Rick Warren 5, Ronald Reagan 5, Mr. Mandela 5, Johannesburg 4, Harold Ford Jr. 4, Kentucky 4
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